Monday, September 3, 2012

You don't have to start at the beginning!

When you write a story, do you always start at the beginning? I used to and it made me crazy. At times, I felt so much frustration that I gave up  on the whole project.

Then...while in college, I took several types of creative writing courses, and discovered that there is no rule that says you have to start at the beginning--no laws broken, no one hurt...nothing.

This works great for me, and I think it would work for  others writers who do not already piece their stories together this way.

How does it help?

It helps me in a few ways:

  • Sometimes I have a conversation between two characters in my mind that starts to develop into a story, but trying come up with a beginning, and then building up to that specific scene is frustrating. So, I start with what I've got in mind and fill in the rest of the story around it. Sometimes, I write the scene and put it away for a while, and then come back to the story as ideas develop. 
  • My creative juices, so to speak, flow better when I don't have to start at the beginning. I just start writing what has already developed, so I'm not sitting at the keyboard watching a blinking line on a blank page or wearing out my "backspace" key. Both make me crazy!
  • Writing other scenes first helps me decide on a beginning or an end. For me, writing a scene with the main character in the middle or end of the action helps me flesh out my character, and in turn, helps me create more realistic characters. I understand their motives and can begin the story with that in mind. 
If you are a writer who hasn't tried this technique, I'd recommend it. I don't always write this way, but doing so frees the mind and allows you to concentrate and build on what has already developed in your imagination and getting that out on paper frees your mind to create the rest of the story. 

Happy Reading and Writing!

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